Numerous impressive larger-scale motorcycles have been released, most frequently within the Technic theme. 10269 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy seems particularly interesting in official images and this design deviates significantly from past models, due primarily to its focus upon System building techniques.
In addition, Harley-Davidson motorcycles have become representative of American touring culture, much like 10265 Ford Mustang. This set contains 1023 pieces and costs £84.99 or $99.99 which seems quite reasonable so this should prove to be an excellent model, especially following previous Creator Expert sets during 2019.
Box and Contents
The packaging appears comparatively simple, displaying the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy against a brick wall. Nevertheless, this design certainly draws attention to the motorcycle and resembles a showroom image. Smaller details are shown on the reverse of the box alongside the functioning drive train which connects the engine to the rear wheel.
Seven numbered bags are provided and the instruction manual contains 156 pages. Several pages are focused upon the history of Harley-Davidson which is interesting, particularly since this timeline format corresponds with the instructions for 10265 Ford Mustang. Information about this particular motorcycle and an enjoyable, albeit unusually short, interview with Mike Psiaki are also included.
Creator Expert models frequently include exclusively printed pieces but this set features nine stickers, unfortunately. They are printed on a reflective surface and appear realistic, although I was disappointed to encounter an error as 'Milwaukee' has been spelled incorrectly on the second sticker, as exhibited below.
The assembly of Creator Expert vehicles traditionally commences with a robust Technic chassis and this model is no exception, although the process is interrupted by the engine. Functional engines are often found across the Technic theme but this intricate example consists primarily of System parts so differs considerably from its predecessors. For example, stacked spools form each piston head which look superb.
Another section of the motorcycle frame rests above the engine and feels somewhat delicate during this phase of construction as it is only secured using one Technic pin. The resultant design appears authentic though and the broad rear wheel slots neatly into its housing. A new wheel component has been created for the Harley-Davidson and two such elements are joined inside the rear tyre.
Completing the frame is remarkably satisfying as its four constituent sections are combined perfectly, strengthening the entire vehicle. I am particularly impressed with the black linkages which connect to ball joints and surround the frame. These closely resemble similar structural supports on the original motorcycle but their angled position is rather steep.
Assembly of the external bodywork commences towards the rear. This rounded mudguard seems to float above the tyre and is secured at three points, hence its slight flexibility. The structure feels quite robust though and the light bluish grey braces on each side serve an important reinforcing role which surprised me as they appear purely cosmetic.
Bag three contains pieces for the saddle and the fuel tank. The entire motorcycle is an odd number of studs wide so construction of its saddle is deceptively elaborate, slotting around the central mudguard brace. Furthermore, the fuel tank is fitted in two sections here and encloses the colourful pieces inside. Pairs of offset Technic pins are inserted into similarly offset pin holes, angling the tank in relation to the motorcycle frame.
The fork is assembled backwards, presenting a series of 2x2 inverted curved slopes towards the front. This design is somewhat unusual but appears fairly effective and I appreciate how the front mudguard has been constructed around two triangular axle connectors, replicating its curvature on actual Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycles.
An excellent headlight assembly is mounted on the fork, featuring an angled surface of exposed studs that fixes the headlight in parallel with the ground. The handlebars are constructed separately from the forks too and connect using clips which feel quite secure, although the handlebars appear fragile when compared with the remainder of the model.
The Completed Model
Harley-Davidson motorcycles are renowned for their powerful appearance and this substantial model looks brilliant, capturing the characteristic shape of its source material with outstanding accuracy. The dark red and black colour scheme resembles Harley-Davidson's attractive Wicked Red shade and the light bluish grey areas are splendid too, despite lacking an authentic satin chrome finish.
Creator Expert vehicles vary quite considerably in scale and 10269 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy definitely conforms to that trend. However, the motorcycle measures 33cm in length so appears consistent when displayed beside other vehicles from the range. Its proportions are remarkably impressive, although the gap between the front wheel and the frame seems slightly too narrow from the side.
This wheel has been designed specifically for the Harley-Davidson and looks perfect in relation to the actual motorcycle. The simple textured decoration is completely authentic and the tyre tread appears realistic as well. Moreover, the front tyre is protected by a dark red mudguard. Its curvature has been exaggerated but I think it may be difficult to improve upon this design without creating a new element.
Light bluish grey barrels are situated at the end of each fork, enclosing some unsightly Technic pieces. This area should be fairly smooth so the texture is somewhat disappointing and the transition between cylindrical and angular bricks is not perfect either. Nevertheless, the forks appear reasonably accurate on the whole and I am particularly satisfied with the enormous headlight positioned between them.
Macaroni tubes form the handlebars and appear fairly accurate to the source material, although their curves are slightly too pronounced in my opinion. However, I like the reflective mirrors which are both decorated with stickers and the speedometer looks excellent too. The brake levers are rather delicate but the model is otherwise absolutely robust, especially around the fuel tank.
Two light bluish grey 1x1 round tiles represent fuel filler caps on the tank, although the left cap is purely for decoration on the real motorcycle. I love the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy emblem printed across either side of the fuel tank and its distinctive teardrop shape has been replicated nicely, integrating some 3x3 wedge bricks alongside curved slopes. The saddle is equally faithful to the original motorcycle.
Harley-Davidson has been associated with reliable V-twin engines since 1909 and this rendition of a Milwaukee-Eight 107 variant looks absolutely fantastic. Its cylinder configuration is brilliant and I love the circular air filter, incorporating a new gear from SPIKE Prime. Unfortunately, the lifter block cover includes the aforementioned spelling error but its chrome letters looks nice and the model features a tiny suspension adjustment knob behind the engine, demonstrating incredible attention to detail.
The motorcycle lacks suspension which is somewhat disappointing but its rear wheel is linked to the engine and the pistons move accordingly. An access hatch to view this mechanism would have been welcome but might risk spoiling the appearance of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy. The light bluish grey transmission housing corresponds with the real vehicle and I like the angled floorboards.
Adjustable shifter and rear brake pedals are located beside the floorboards and a kickstand is hidden underneath the transmission structure. This extends very smoothly and provides adequate support to the motorcycle, although its lean seems very dramatic. On that basis, I prefer to display this model on the dark bluish grey stand which fits below the engine and avoids distracting attention from the Harley-Davidson.
Several unusual features distinguish the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy from other motorcycles but its wide rear tyre appears particularly striking. The tread pattern seems very accurate and I am impressed with the trans-red brake light above the tyre, including two curved 1x1 tiles which have not appeared in this colour before. The number plate also looks wonderful, matching that used at Harley-Davidson's testing facility in Wisconsin.
Twin exhausts are connected to the engine, expelling excess gases. They appear authentic in relation to the original motorcycle, widening at an appropriate point and joining each cylinder head separately. Furthermore, the shape of the rear mudguard braces looks marvellous, lacking only reflective panels that should appear on either flank.
LEGO has produced various motorcycles exceeding minifigure scale but this example is undoubtedly my favourite. It seems remarkably realistic when compared with the source material and looks superb on display, matching the exceptionally high standard established by previous Creator Expert sets. The construction process is also enjoyable, seamlessly combining System pieces with Technic.
Replacing any external light bluish grey elements with metallic silver alternatives would definitely have improved this model, although that seems unrealistic given the quantity that might be required. On that basis, I am delighted with 10269 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy and its price of £84.99 or $99.99 feels quite reasonable so I think both motorcycles fans and Creator Expert collectors will appreciate this set.
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This set was provided for review by The LEGO Group but the review is an expression of my own opinions.